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Analysis

Only way to fund lavish spending promises is to stay in EU

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 31.10.2019

Boris Johnson is merrily promising to spend more money on public services in order to win votes in the election. But the only way to fund those promises – apart from going deeper and deeper into debt – is to cancel Brexit. 

The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal will make our economy £70 billion a year smaller in the medium run than it would be if we stay in the EU, according to a new analysis by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

What could we do with £70 billion a year?

Well, what about Johnson’s infamous promise of £350 million a week for the NHS? That’s £18 billion a year. So we could fund that promise nearly four times over.

But let’s say we only spend an extra £18bn on the NHS. That would leave £52 billion a year for other things.

What about £10 billion a year extra for schools? That’s half of what schools spend on teaching staff annually. We could give our teachers a much needed pay rise, hire more of them, and cut class sizes.

What about £6 billion more each year for creaking infrastructure? In the first year alone that would cover the cost of the Intercity Express Programme, bringing in much needed improvements and rolling stock on Britain’s busiest intercity routes and replacing trains that are 40 years old.

What about £3 billion a year extra for police? That’s a quarter of the total police budget this year – money that could be used to unwind the cuts made by Boris’s Conservative predecessors. 

Now, of course, the boost to the economy we get from staying in the EU doesn’t all have to be spent on public services. It can be used to increase the money in people’s pockets.

Indeed, after all this spending on the NHS, schools, infrastructure and the police, we would still have £33 billion a year left over. That’s enough for an extra £500 each year for every adult and child in the country. People could spend it on food, rent, keeping warm in the winter and even things like going out or taking a holiday. Living well, rather than existing. 

So the next time you hear Johnson promising to spray money around, ask where it is coming from. And remember that if we stay in the EU, we could have an extra £1.5 billion each week to spend.

We deserve better infrastructure. We deserve better hospitals. We deserve better than Brexit. If you want that, don’t vote Tory on December 12.

Edited by Hugo Dixon

Tags: Categories: Brexit

2 Responses to “Only way to fund lavish spending promises is to stay in EU”

  • I have been making a similar point since June 2016! We need this message to be taken up by the LibDems, Labour the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens. If the opposition parties pledged five years of spending of this otherwise wasted money on British priorities, we could kickstart the economy and enhance the lives of the people of these islands and their opportunities. It needs to be contrasted with an analysis of who gains from Brexit.